After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
It's the summer of 1959 in Castlerock, Oregon and four 12 year-old boys - Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern - are fast friends. After learning of the general location of the body of a local boy who has been missing for several days, they set off into woods to see it. Along the way, they learn about themselves, the meaning of friendship and the need to stand up for what is right.Written by
Rob Reiner credits much of his success with his cast to the fact that he had been an actor himself. Wil Wheaton said he did not realize it at the time, but that the experience of working with Reiner taught him the meaning of the term "an actor's director." In the making-of documentary, Kiefer Sutherland said of Reiner, "Because he's so proficient as an actor, he can allow you to discover a moment when in fact he's telling it to you." See more »
Ben E. King's "Stand By Me", which the film derives its title from and uses as its theme song, was not recorded until 1961. However, it is non-diegetic (not heard by the characters), and it is also first heard when Gordie is an adult in the film's opening scene, which would be well past 1961. See more »
I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of 1959-a long time ago, but only if you measure in terms of years. I was living in a small town in Oregon called Castle Rock. There were only twelve hundred and eighty-one people. But to me, it was the whole world.
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In the edited-for-TV version, Lardass Hogan's name is shortened to Lard for obvious reasons. Yet even in the edited-for-TV version, the name "Lardass" is seen in the credits. See more »
In the edited for TV version, Lardass Hogan's name is shortened to Lard for obvious reasons. The editing is very obvious when the crowd starts chanting his name and the film looks and sounds very choppy as a result. See more »
Without a doubt this movie is probably the best coming of age flick around, it has terrific acting and an incredibly touching plot that keeps you going throughout the whole film. I think the reason I love this film so much is because, everyone in some way could relate to it. When you're a pre-teen and have a close group of friends and face something so intense together, there's that special bond that no matter how much you loose touch with each other, one day, you just think of them and that one incident.
Stand by Me is about 4 pre-teen boys whose summer is about to end and they are about to start junior high. They've obviously grown up together and are nervous of the world they are about to face, where they are no longer kids, but just about to become adults. When their friend, Vern, tells them about a kid their age that is missing that he found out by listening in on his brother where the kid's body is, the boys think it would be so cool to find the body and become the local town heroes. They have one problem though, there are these big tough guys who want to find the body first, it's a matter of who will reach it first. But of course, it's the bonding of the boys that really gets you into the film.
These are some of the best characters I have seen on film, we start with Gordy. Gordy is an intelligent writer who lost his big brother, his idol, in a car crash recently and can't get any love or respect from his father and it's obvious that he gets it from his friends. That's what keeps him going. Chris is the leader of the gang and Gordy's best friend, he comes from a very bad family and is dubbed the bad seed everywhere, he's the kid who you knew in school and just knew he'd turn out bad, but there's a deeper side to him. The speech that River Phoenix turned out for Chris was so beautifully dilvered as a child who's been disappointed so many times by an adult.
Teddy is another bad kid sort of speak, he has a bad home life where his father is crazy and nearly killed him a few times. He has a quick temper, but you can tell that his friends keep him down to Earth and help him through the worst times. Then there's Vern, the funny fat kid who is pretty much scarred of everything, and in some ways is the 4th wheel. Still, Vern you can tell is a great friend and the other's appreciate him despite how he can hold them back.
The acting is just phenomenal. Now, the directing, Rob Reiner is without a doubt one of the best directors of all time, he took these young boys and pushed them to their limits, he was so smart about it as well. He said in an interview that he had to get pre-teen boys who were close to the personality of the character in the film, so it would come natural to the pre-teen actors, and you could tell that this film was his baby, he put so much thought and love into this film. That's what makes this film so special, nothing could ever compete with a coming of age film like Stand By Me.
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